New Delhi: The Government has imposed a ban on the construction and demolition activities in the National Capital Region (NCR) as the air quality deteriorates in the last 24 hours.
The city’s average air quality index stood at 399 last evening, which is only two notches below the severe category. In view of the significant deterioration in air quality, the sub-committee of the Commission for Air Quality Management invoked stage 3 of the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) in the NCR.
While Stage III bans construction and demolition activities, it exempts projects related to rail services and operations, metro projects, airport projects, projects related to national security or defence, projects of national importance and health care facilities.
Delhi’s overall Air Quality Index (AQI) clocked at 399 today as per the 4PM (last evening) AQI Bulletin provided by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB). In view of significant deterioration in air quality of Delhi-NCR in last 24 hours, the Sub-Committee for invoking actions under the Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) of the Commission for Air Quality Management in NCR & Adjoining Areas (CAQM) held an emergency meeting.
During the meeting, the Sub-Committee comprehensively reviewed the air quality scenario in the region as well as the forecasts for meteorological conditions and air quality index of Delhi.
While assessing the overall air quality parameters, the Sub-Committee noted that due to extreme unfavorable meteorological conditions the overall air quality of Delhi has deteriorated over last few hours and there is an increasing trend further in the coming days as per the Air Quality forecast of IMD/IITM.
Therefore, it is considered necessary to put Stage-III of GRAP back in place with immediate effect in the entire NCR in an effort to prevent further deterioration of air quality in the region.
Based on earlier decisions of the Sub-Committee on GRAP, actions up to Stage-I and Stage-II of the GRAP are already in force vide orders dated October 5, 2022 and October 19, 2022 respectively.
Actions under stage-III of GRAP were invoked on 4th December, 2022 in the NCR, pursuant to a significant deterioration in the average air quality of Delhi and the Sub-Committee in its meeting held on December 7, 2022 reviewed the air quality scenario in the region and based on the improvement in the overall AQI of Delhi, the Sub-Committee revoked its order dated 4th December, 2022 vide order dated 7th December, 2022.
As per the dynamic model and weather/ meteorological forecast, the overall AQI of Delhi is expected to slip into ‘Severe’ category owing to calm wind and stable atmospheric conditions and is expected to deteriorate further, therefore, in an effort to prevent further deterioration of air quality in the region, the Sub-Committee has decided that all actions as envisaged under Stage III of the GRAP – ‘Severe’ Air Quality (DELHI AQI ranging between 401-450), be implemented in right earnest by all the agencies concerned, with immediate effect in the entire NCR. This is in addition to the preventive/ restrictive actions already in force under Stage-I and Stage-II of GRAP.
Accordingly, a 9-point action plan as per Stage-III of GRAP is applicable with immediate effect from today in the entire NCR in addition to preventive/ restrictive actions under Stage-I and Stage-II of the GRAP which are already in place.